It’s easy to see that riding a motorcycle in Texas is convenient because it allows bikers to take advantage of wide-open roadways, but when bikers are traveling even at the speed limits on Texas highways, high-speed motorcycle accidents can occur; and, riders are at a higher risk for getting seriously injured.
Dangers of High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, high-speed motorcycle accidents result in fatal crashes. The Texas Department of Transportation reported almost 500 fatal motorcycle crashes statewide in 2020. Generally, motorcycle accidents involving a bike and a passenger vehicle are much more dangerous for the motorcyclist than the occupants of a car or truck.
When a high-speed motorcycle accident occurs in icy or wet road conditions, the chances the drivers will be able to slow down in time to avoid a collision is decreased. Fatal injuries also most commonly occur when a high-speed crash occurs near a bridge, which is generally icier than regular roads in winter weather. Bridges also limit the space in which vehicles can move to avoid a collision. This can cause a motorcyclist or other vehicle to go off of the bridge, which can result in drowning and/or blunt force trauma by hitting the water or ground below.
Highways are very dangerous for accidents involving motorcycles and other cars and trucks on the road because of the very high-speed limits on many toll roads, tollways, beltways, highways, freeways, and other high-speed options across the state. Rural roads, especially at night or in severe weather conditions, can also prove dangerous due to distracting or mislabeled road signs, low visibility, vehicles turning left onto unlit and unmarked roads, and vehicles stopping and starting more frequently.
How Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Texas?
Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of high-speed motorcycle accident. These can occur when a turning car hits a motorcycle at an intersection. Head-on collisions also happen when a car crosses the center line and hits a biker, commonly caused by distracted driving, fatigued driving, and/or drunk driving.
DUI cases in Texas are sadly quite common throughout the state. When a passenger vehicle driver or a truck driver hits a biker in a high-speed motorcycle wreck and they are driving under the influence, their perception is distorted and so their ability to react and avoid a collision is extremely inhibited.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In 2020, Texas was among the top 10 states that had the most motorcyclists registered and on the roads. It should come as no surprise then that motorcycle accident injuries are common. But what are the most common injuries to motorcyclists involved in high-speed accidents?
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – Head and brain injuries are the most common injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. Motorcyclists sometimes do not wear a helmet, but even if they do a helmet can only protect one’s head to a limited extent when the force of a crash is strong. Head injuries can include concussions, skull fractures, contusions, and/or severe or permanent brain damage.
- Neck and spine injuries – Neck and spine injuries can include whiplash, nerve damage, and even spinal cord damage. If a spinal cord injury is severe enough, it can cause paralysis via quadriplegia or paraplegia.
- Fractures and broken bones – Bones are very commonly injured in high-speed motorcycle accidents. Riders and passengers on motorcycles can suffer broken collarbones or fractures to the limbs. Depending on the impact of the collision, broken bones or severe fractures can even lead to amputations.
Although unlikely in a motorcycle accident because of the lack of protection of the rider’s body, some injuries may not be recognized or felt immediately after an accident. That’s why it’s vital to have a full medical evaluation conducted immediately after a wreck. Damages that may seem minor, like bruises or head damage, can signal a more serious injury.
How to Prevent High-Speed Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers of passenger vehicles like cars and trucks can help prevent high-speed motorcycle accidents in a few ways. It is true that driving at night decreases visibility, but if that or any other circumstances are not avoidable, these tips can help prevent serious injury or fatalities:
- Motor vehicle drivers should always look twice before changing traffic lanes.
- Drivers of trucks, as well as cars, should always check their mirrors and look over their shoulders to ensure they cover all potential blind spots. Motorcycles come in varying sizes, meaning smaller motorcycles can be easily missed or unseen.
- Drivers should pay special attention when making left turns since most people are looking for cars or trucks coming their way instead of remembering smaller vehicles like motorcycles could be coming up as well.
- Watch alcohol consumption before driving. Keeping one’s blood alcohol level below .08% reduces the risk of being impaired visually, mentally, and/or physically.
Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
No motorcycle rider or passenger on the road should feel endangered even when traveling as allowed on highways at high speeds. Due to the serious nature of high-speed motorcycle accidents, catastrophic and even fatal injuries can result. Fatal crashes are traumatic for everyone involved, including the deceased’s family and friends. If you or someone you know were injured in a motorcycle accident, you will need a sensitive and experienced personal injury attorney on your side. To review your legal options, please contact the attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. for a free and confidential consultation.